Choir leader receives support in unusual places

LIVING with a cheating husband is never a positive experience, but for Linda Gefken it was a dream come true.

Choir director Linda Gefken was into her 50s before she came out to her family and friends as a pansexual.

But if it wasn't for her husband's wandering eyes, she would never have acted on her romantic thoughts of the same sex.

"I was very much in love with my then husband," Linda said.

"I was attracted to woman as well; I just wasn't interested in acting on it."

"I had just always been faithful."

As time went on, Linda admits the relationship with her husband was getting a little bit 'stale'.

He looked outside the marriage to find a way to spice things up.

"He decided he needed to go elsewhere, and he started seeing someone else behind my back."

Sadly, that someone else was Linda's close friend.

"It was a double betrayal," she said.

"I lost a couple of friends because of it."

Linda is the choir director with Waves of Harmony, a choir group that perform as a way of raising funds for St Vincent de Paul Society.

Choir leader Linda Gefken leading the Waves of Harmony choir in rehearsals.
Choir leader Linda Gefken leading the Waves of Harmony choir in rehearsals.

The majority of the choir group are members of the Stella Maris and St Peters Parishes.

When Linda was first approached by a friend to lead the group, she made it very clear of her sexuality to allay any confusion or angst from the church.

"I said, 'first and foremost you better tell them I am in a lesbian relationship'," she said.

But Linda, who identifies as pansexual, was surprised by some of the people who became her advocates.

"I've had great support from the priest Father Jo and Sister Helen," she said.

"They are very welcoming.

"It's not like the old days when the Catholics shut off everybody if they did not conform."

Waves of Harmony Choir leader Linda Gefken with music director Larraine O'Brien.
Waves of Harmony Choir leader Linda Gefken with music director Larraine O'Brien.

Linda and her partner were looking forward to taking part in the Noosa Rainbow Festival this weekend.

"It'll be my first time there," she said.

"I'm looking forward to being part of the crowd and meeting some new people.

"I haven't even got my outfit planned yet."